By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.
The Nigerian Army has trained one hundred and eighty three wives and children of serving Military personnel on self reliance as part of measures to engender self reliance amongst soldiers’ wives and children at the 31 Field Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army, Minna in Niger State.
The empowerment programme powered by the Mallam Garba Foundation titled “Vocational Training Initiative”, (VTI), is targeted at imparting vocational skills on different spheres to the beneficiaries.
The Commander, 31 Field Artillery, Brigade, Minna, Brig-Gen Moshood Jimoh said at the graduation ceremony of the 183 beneficiaries on Wednesday that the emphasis of the skills acquisition training programme was to ensure that wives and children of Military personnel were trained in various spheres of vocations to make them self reliant and productive.
The beneficiaries had undergone a five day intensive skills acquisition programmes in five spheres. The skills and vocational knowledge training is the third in the series for wives and children of Military personnel in the command.
The Commander of the Brigade said the skills impartation programme was in the pursuit of the vision of the leadership of the Nigerian Armed Forces to have wives and dependants of service men empowered to be on their own to add value to themselves and their fatherland.
He said it is the desire of the Chief of Staffs to have wives and dependants of soldiers trained in various spheres of vocations to make them economically productive and self employable.
Brig. Gen Jimoh commended the collaboration between the Army and the Foundation saying the partnership is intended at empowering the families of soldiers.
Fifty three of the beneficiaries were trained in leather works for shoes and hand bags making, 40 were trained in hairdressing, 21 were trained on barbing techniques, 52 persons were trained on fashion designing technically, while 17 others were trained on Television satellite installation techniques.The beneficiaries were given working tools called starter packs to ply their trades. 53 of them received leather works machines and kits, 52 persons were given sewing machines, 40 of the trainees got hairdressing machines, 21 others got hair barbing clippers while 17 were given tools for the repairs and installation of television satellite.
Brig-Gen Jimoh explained that the vocational skills training was aimed at keeping soldiers’ wives and their youths gainfully productive within the confines of the barrack community and curb the tendencies for such social vices inherent in idle minds.
Speaking further on the benefits of the programme, Brig. Gen. Jimoh noted that servicemen would have little to worry about while they concentrate on their duties once their wives and dependants are gainfully employed.
He advised the beneficiaries to make maximum use of the opportunities opened to them by the programme. He equally charged them to strive being employers of labour to further spin the wheel of progress.
“I will like to see you as future employers of labour” as he charged them to be pragmatic and innovative in plying their trades.
While assuring that the collaboration between the Army and the foundation would continue so as to draw in more beneficiaries, Brig. Gen. Jimoh said the Nigerian Army is determined to support partnerships that would lead to job creation and empowerment for women and youth in barracks.
Hajiya Balarabe Salisu, one of the beneficiaries of the programme, commended the Brigade Commander for availing them the opportunity to be part of the programme. She assured that the beneficiaries would use the skills acquired to build themselves and their families.